Based on the reports he’s getting about summer workouts, John Calipari’s grand plan is ahead of schedule. After bemoaning a lack of depth and practice competition during a disappointing 2012-13 season, Calipari said an influx of talented freshmen is already pushing his returning players to new heights.
“Now there’s competition. Now you really see guys blossom,” Calipari said Monday on the annual Southeastern Conference coaches’ summer teleconference. “It’s been a short period of time right now, but what you see is they’re on a mission like some of my best teams have been on.”
While junior forward Kyle Wiltjer is away training with the Canadian national developmental team, where he is no doubt also improving, Calipari said sophomores Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein are benefiting most from the arrival of star freshmen. Poythress is squaring off with Julius Randle, the nation’s top-rated power forward in his class, and Cauley-Stein is battling Dakari Johnson, the top-rated center.